“Last night I immediately called Minister Božinović to ensure that the Ministry and police take all the necessary measures and investigate the matter so that we see what happened and take appropriate decisions, because Croatia, as a country governed by the rule of law, respects its own laws and international rules. We do not want any actions that might be connected with the state and that are not in accordance with our legal system,” Plenković said at a cabinet meeting.
“We have a duty to protect our border and prevent illegal migration. We appreciate the role of the Croatian police in protecting the border in the last few years after our continent has become a destination for migrations, which are often illegal and led and organized by smugglers who benefit from the misfortunes of many people who for various reasons left their homes,” he added.
Likewise, We Can! party on Thursday described the treatment of migrants as shown by footage of violence on the border as unacceptable, calling on the police management to leave border protection to somebody else if they were not up to the task.
Footage of masked police beating migrants at the border. (Telegram.hr)
The latest footage of violence against refugees and migrants on our borders reveals serious problems in the way the Ministry of the Interior is dealing with the challenges of migration, the opposition party said in a Facebook post, thus joining in numerous reactions to videos showing the brutal beating of migrants on the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“If the current police leadership is not up to the task, it is time other people assumed the responsibility of protecting the border. The current approach to migrations is unacceptable and we once again support all police employees who do not agree with it and who have been warning about it for some time,” the party said, recalling that it had warned on a number of occasions that the border can be protected without the use of violence and violation of human rights.
“The latest footage proves that we either have organized groups of thugs who beat refugees or police who remove their insignia and use force and beatings to drive people out of Croatia. Either means a defeat of the idea of a law-based state and human rights protection.”
Božinović either denying the problem or announcing probes without an epilogue
The party went on to say that the Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović was “either denying the problem or announcing investigations without an epilogue.”
It called on the minister and the prime minister to clearly say what was going on, who was responsible, and why they had not prevented the criminal activity on the border.
Minister Božinović said earlier today that an investigation had been launched to establish if the footage broadcast was authentic, noting that there was no tolerance to violence in the police.
Asked by reporters if he, too, was responsible if it turned out that the footage was authentic, Božinović said, “Why should I be personally responsible?”
He added that nobody had been given an order to use force, except in cases defined by the law, and that most situations on the border did not warrant such conduct.
For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.